Health Care Researchers' Study on Vasomotor Symptoms Cited in Wall Street Journal Blog

August 28, 2014

The Wall Street Journal blog Pharmalot recently published an article citing research on the economic impact of untreated vasomotor symptoms conducted by several Analysis Group Health Care consultants in collaboration with Philip Sarrel, professor emeritus at the Yale School of Medicine, David Portman of the Columbus Center for Women's Health Research, and Peter Aupperle of Noven Pharmaceuticals. The article, "Hot News Flash: Untreated Menopause Costs the Economy Millions?" (August 27, 2014), explains how untreated vasomotor symptoms, or hot flashes, can cause women to take time off from work and seek medical care more often than women without these symptoms. In the article, Vice President Patrick Lefebvre explains that the direct and indirect costs of untreated vasomotor symptoms can impact more than just the women affected: "it's important to realize that we're all paying for the costs associated with not treating this."

The study, "Incremental Direct and Indirect Costs of Untreated Vasomotor Symptoms" ( Menopause, August 25, 2014), was funded by Noven Pharmaceuticals and conducted by Mr. Lefebvre, Managing Principal Mei Sheng Duh, and Senior Economist Marie-Hélène Lafeuille -- along with several other researchers, including Drs. Sarrel, Portman, and Aupperle. The retrospective, matched-cohort study used health insurance claims from 1999 to 2011 to compare women with and without vasomotor symptoms to evaluate health care resource utilization, work productivity loss, and cost burden associated with a lack of treatment. The study found that women with untreated hot flashes sought 82 percent more outpatient visits for medical care and had 57 percent more indirect work productivity loss days than the control group, resulting in an incremental direct and indirect cost burden associated with untreated vasomotor symptoms over one year totaling more than $339 million and $27 million, respectively.

Read the Pharmalot article

Read the study abstract